Sharon Apfelbaum is a writer and historian with a passion for public service. Sharon graduated from George Washington University with a degree in English Literature.  She worked as a legislative aide to the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C. before moving to Palm Springs with her physician-husband Bart and starting their family.

Early on she was active in public schools and League of Women Voters, served on the board of Village Center for the Arts, and as a docent for Palm Springs Art Museum and treasurer of its Contemporary Arts Council. She was also a board member of Community Concerts, Friends of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Riverside County Women’s and Flood Control Commissions. She helped originate the Palm Springs International Film Festival and served on its board.  She was Director of Development for Palm Springs Desert Museum and Director of Wildlights for the Living Desert.

After terms on Palm Springs Planning and Architectural Advisory Commissions, Ms. Apfelbaum won a seat on Palm Springs City Council and served as Vice Mayor under Mayor Sonny Bono. 

As a Congressional appointee, Sharon served on the Bureau of Land Management’s Desert District Advisory Council.  She helped actualize the San Jacinto/Santa Rosa Mountains National Monument while serving as a board member of Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy.

She is a freelance writer specializing in travel and food. She has written for Westways, Palm Springs Life, the Los Angeles Times, the Press Enterprise, the Desert Sun’s Next magazine, Desert Key, American Style and Latin American Art magazines, among others. A longtime Western horseback rider, she co-authored with former Mayor Frank Bogert the book View from the Saddle: Characters Who Have Crossed My Trail. She also co-published and edited The Public Record, the Coachella Valley’s business and legal newspaper.

Today she serves on the board of Palm Springs Historical Society and as a docent leads walking tours of Palm Springs’ historic downtown area and its neighborhoods.

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DR. craig borba

Dr. Borba is an educational psychologist and former Assistant Superintendent with a history of community service in the Coachella Valley.

He received his Masters in Psychology from Santa Clara University and a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco.

He has worked in public education for more than 45 years, including as a high school special education teacher, school psychologist, principal, administrator, and director of special education and gifted and talented programs. As Assistant Superintendent of Palm Springs Unified School District, he was responsible for special education, health services, discipline, child welfare and attendance, and district security services. In 2008, Dr. Borba was recognized by the Association of California School Administrators (ASCA) as State Administrator of the Year for Pupil Services. 

Dr. Borba currently works as an educational consultant in areas of program design, service delivery, fiscal planning, budget reduction and administrator coaching for Riverside and San Bernardino school districts.

His community involvement includes serving on the Executive Board of the Mizell Senior Center, the Palm Springs Parks and Recreation Commission, the Executive Board of the Regional Access Project (RAP) – which provides funding for the unmet needs in areas of health, mental health and juvenile intervention in the Coachella Valley – and he is a member of the Friends of the Palm Springs Public Library. He and his family have lived in Palm Springs since 1986



Tracy Conrad is a preservationist and bibliophile. She received her B.A. from University of California, Berkeley, and her M.D. from the University of Southern California. She was Associate Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at Los Angeles County Medical Center before moving full-time to the desert. 

Dr. Conrad has served on the Historic Site Preservation Board, the Architectural Advisory Committee and the Planning Commission for the City of Palm Springs, as well as the Architecture and Design Council of the Palm Springs Art Museum, and the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation. She is currently a board member of the Palm Springs Historical Society, the Palm Springs Cultural Center, the Aluminaire Foundation, and the Palm Springs Library Foundation.  

Dr. Conrad wrote and directed Smoke Tree Ranch, A Way of Life, and edited and contributed to Brief Architectural Guide to Palm Springs. She was a regular contributor to the Desert Magazine. Dr. Conrad also co-authored The Thomas O'Donnell House with Tony Merchell, and Einstein Dreamt Here with Steve Vaught.  

Dr. Conrad and her husband own several architecturally and historically significant homes in Palm Springs, where they live with their two teenage children. 


Harry R. Courtright dedicated his career to the service and support of libraries. After graduating with a BA degree from Central Michigan University, Mr. Courtright attended the University of Michigan Graduate School and received his Masters degree in Library Science. From there, he managed the largest cooperative multi-type library organization in Michigan (The Library Network), administered a library grant in aid program for the State Library of Pennsylvania, established the Delaware County Library System, and served as Library Director for the Maricopa County Library District in Phoenix, AZ.

While at Maricopa County, Mr. Courtright received the top award given in 2006 from the Arizona State Quality Improvement Program, as well as a Certificate of Appreciation for his work as an Executive Mentor. 

Mr. Courtright spearheaded several library innovations throughout his career, including self check-out/check-in, automated information networks, the one desk service concept, and created a Dewey-less library system now branded as ShelfLogic, which revolutionized the organization of book collections.

His community work has included a wide array of positions: Saint Stephen's School board member,  Delaware County Literacy Council board member, Treasurer of Philadelphia Chamber Ensemble SEQUENZA, board member and Rector's Warden at St. Clement's Church, President of the Greater Harrisburg Arts Council, and Chair of the City of Harrisburg Architectural Review Board. In addition, he has been a board member and Vice-Chair of PALINET, Chairman of the District Library Center Administrator's Organization, President of the Capitol Are Library Association, and board member of the Consortium of Health Agencies.

Since retiring and moving to Palm Springs, Mr. Courtright has been appointed a board member of the Palm Springs Public Library, and he serves as Secretary of the Palermo HOA board, Historian and board member for the Palm Springs Community Concert Association, and is a board member of the San Rafael Neighborhood Organization. He is Treasurer and board member of the Palm Springs Public Library Foundation. 

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terry dean

Terry Dean received her B.A. from California State University, Sonoma, and her MLS (Masters in Library Science) from California State University, San Jose.

She worked as a librarian at the Institute of Governmental Studies Library at the University of California, Berkeley for her entire professional career. The IGS Library collection focused on domestic public administration, public policy and political science and served undergraduates, graduate students, visiting scholars and researchers investigating local, state and national policy issues.

Terry was active in campus library organizations and the Special Libraries Association which provided a valuable nation-wide network of colleagues and resources. Terry moved to the desert in 2004 when she married former Palm Springs city manager, Norm King. She is a member of the O’Donnell golf club and has written a history of the club, O’Donnell Golf Club: Jewel of the Desert for 65 Years, with Judy Dickinson, using the Palm Springs Public Library as a major resource.

Terry is an avid library user and is committed to helping to work for a Palm Springs Public Library which will serve the needs of the community’s many constituencies.   

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David Engen

David Engen has had a varied career in both music and technology. With master’s degrees in both music (organ performance and pedagogy) and information technology (software engineering), he is equally at home playing an organ keyboard, directing a choir, or analyzing a database.

A constant has been acquisition of information through both public and academic libraries.

After retirement from an IT career that ranged from insurance to inter-modal freight tracking to computer disc drive sales systems, a side interest – pipe organ construction – developed into a pipe organ maintenance and construction company in Minneapolis. Grandall and Engen LLC has some 150 clients and 8 employees. David is also webmaster for the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, using Wild Apricot as a foundation.

Mr. Engen developed an admiration for library personnel while working on a master’s degree in software engineering at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. He says, “For every one, the staff librarian at Lutheran Brotherhood Insurance in Minneapolis bent over backwards to gather huge amounts of information from various libraries. After a little organization, the papers almost wrote themselves, thanks to her assistance. It was hardly required of her, but she was more than happy to offer her expertise to assist.”



Doug Hudson is an architect who spent the majority of his career as a principal and director of design for a Los Angeles firm specializing in large-scale institutional projects, including hospitals and research laboratories.  

He has two degrees in architecture from the University of Southern California, and has continued his involvement in higher education over the years, serving as a design juror and critic at USC, UCLA and Cal Poly Pomona.  He has lectured on design topics numerous times, including at West Week in Los Angeles, and at the Palm Springs Art Museum.

Ten years ago, he moved to Palm Springs full time, after designing and building his own home there.  In addition to his architecture practice, which is now concentrated on private residences and hotel projects, he has been involved in the community in a number of ways.

With a life-long interest in historic preservation, he quickly became involved in the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation, and serves as an Advisor to its Board of Directors.

Hudson has been extensively involved with the Palm Springs Art Museum, having been a board member and chair of the Architecture and Design Council.  He was a founder of the Museum’s Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion.

Hudson has been particularly active with the City of Palm Springs, serving for a number of years on its Architectural Advisory Committee.  More recently, he has been active as a Planning Commissioner, and has served as Chair.

Doug and his husband Erich Burkhart, also an architect, split their time between homes in Palm Springs’ Old Las Palmas neighborhood and at The Sea Ranch, in northern California.  Both houses were designed around their extensive book collection.



George “Ed” McBride is a recognized library publisher and advocate who is passionate about libraries and end-user access to information.

Ed has extensive experience serving all types of libraries, both internally and externally, for many years.

As an administrator, he built a reputation for identifying strategic solutions for libraries and end users. Ed helped to create marketing programs to grow and encourage usage and discoverability. He also managed the development and implementation of library programming, including re-branding, staff consolidation and resource integration.

Just a sample of some of Ed’s other past positions include serving as a Library Administrator with a major capital program, serving on a national-level library advocacy board in a leadership role, and serving as corporate representative to the national library association. He has experience in library publishing, as well.

Ed earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Memphis in a unique program partnership between the University and the Memphis/Shelby County Public Library and Information System. The program combined academic and public library technology solutions and design, as well as management of library technology.

Ed also has served as a Trustee on the Palm Springs Public Library Board of Trustees since January 2017. In addition, Ed has served as an active Board member for the past 10 years on the ALA United for Libraries Division and most recently, has served as Division President, representing library trustees, foundations, friends and advocates at the national level.

Ken Pengelly

Ken Pengelly

Kenneth C. Pengelly is a retired university faculty member and avid philanthropist.

His professional home was Minnesota State University, Mankato, where he retired as department chair in 2001. During his tenure, he served on numerous committees, was director of the Instructional Computing Project for the State University System, and director of faculty development for three years. His teaching specialty was children’s literature. He matriculated at 4 universities in the U.S. 

Mr. Pengelly and his spouse, David Engen, retired to the desert in 2015. Prior to that, they had been coming to the Coachella Valley since 2000, buying their first rental property in 2001 and developing a small rental pool of seasonal condos. 

Ken has been a board member of the Minnesota State University, Mankato, Foundation for 9 years; the Hennepin County Library Foundation; founding President of the Friends of Library Development and Services (LDS) Library, St. Paul; and President of the Mankato Public Library Friends. During his LDS Friends tenure, he and a committee raised $50,000 which was later donated to fund scholarships at St. Catherine's University’s Department of Library Science.  

He is currently a member of the Maple Grove Lions Club which raises $4,000,000 a year through pull-tab operations and gives 21 annual scholarships to high school seniors.  He was recognized as Outstanding Lion of the Year several years ago.

He and his partner have established an endowment at Minnesota State University, Manakto, in support of two doctorate programs which provide research monies and funding to present research at regional and national conferences. Future monies will endow fellowships for full time doctoral students.

He and his spouse are endowing a national church pipe organ competition every four years in Minneapolis. The award will be the largest wining prize in the history of the field. In addition, they are adding significant monies annually to a family college scholarship housed at a major Lutheran church in Minneapolis.

In the Coachella Valley, they are supporters of the L-Fund, The LGBTQ Center, the Desert Aids Project, and the Friends of the Palm Springs Library. They are avid members of the Palm Springs Genealogy Society and support their efforts in working with the Public Library to expand its offerings.

Mr. Pengelly is especially devoted to helping the Public Library become the archival leader to identify and maintain records of the vast array of non-profits that thrive throughout the Coachella Valley.


David sidley

Luxury realtor David Sidley believes that every great city should have a great library – and Palm Springs is no exception.

Known locally for his expertise regarding high-end properties, David got his start in Palm Springs as a Research Analyst and Grant Writer at the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition, a developer of affordable housing for working families in the Coachella Valley. There, he helped secure funding for an expansion of Coyote Run, an affordable apartment complex in Palm Springs.

David has lived in Palm Springs for nearly 20 years, but grew up in Minneapolis and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Housing Studies.

David loves libraries – often visiting them on his travels and passionately cultivating a large personal library at home.